By FRANCIS TILL
Drawn loosely on Che Guevara's The Motorcycle Diaries, Little Che is an inventive and funny little road trip play featuring two young men from Buenos Aires, one of whom happens to have become an icon in later life.
Dr Ernesto "Che" Guevara Lynch de la Sema (Eryn Wilson) is a man whose life is best known outside Cuba through a series of almost accidental photographs, the most famous of which has adorned enough shirts and berets to give him credibility as a fashion label.
This 3 Pesos production is intended to extend that Warholesque aspect of the legend by giving us impressionistic scenes of Che in his pre-revolutionary life as a randy adventurer, discovering South America astride a Norton motorcycle.
Written by Paolo Rotonda, who co-stars in the two-hander as Che's best mate Dr Alberto Granado, the piece sidesteps the worst aspects of the book and makes excellent use of multimedia animations, shadow puppets and video.
Rotondo and Wilson are a natural comic pair, playing off one another with a degree of skill that would stand them in good stead on the standup circuit.
Apart from a few scenes in a leper colony, there's little of the budding revolutionary on display. This is probably essential for the success of a light-hearted comedy, since only a few years after this excellent motorcycle adventure Che morphed into the unforgiving martinet charged with cleansing post-revolutionary Cuba through "tribunals" that dispensed summary justice with considerable zeal.
There's no hint here of the often dark fanaticism that was to come, nor is there any place for it. Rather, this play sticks to the imagined surface of things, showing us an adventurous boy vexed with social injustice, and never becomes mired in the brutal swamp of historical detail.
Under the solid direction of Andrew Foster, the special effects by Grant Brodie, animation by Scott Sinclair and illustrations by Carmen Collie help make this a worthwhile evening out.
By FRANCIS TILL